A Shepparton woman has a new lease on life thanks to the Chronic Health and Illness Self-Management Support Group which is run by Primary Care Connect.RIAHN SMITH February 14, 2013 1:40am
Primary Care Connect's Chronic Health and Illness Self Management Support Group, from left, Sonia Makar, chronic conditions self-management key worker; Fiona Buckman, group volunteer; Rebecca Lorains, director of families and counselling.
Fiona Buckman has a new lease on life.
The Shepparton woman, who has lived with depression, obesity and a host of other chronic illnesses for most of her life, is using her experience to help others.
Once a month, Ms Buckman volunteers at the Chronic Health and Illness Self-Management Support Group, a meeting organised by Primary Care Connect to assist people with long-lasting or recurrent illness.
‘‘It’s been a lifesaver (for me),’’ Ms Buckman, 50, said.
‘‘I want to be able to share that with other people. I want my life to show that the group does work, the support we have, it works.’’
The support group was launched in November as an extension of an existing health and illness-management program called My Health, My Life.
It aims to help people who suffer from chronic illness to manage their lives and create strategies to deal things, such as depression, tiredness or fatigue, pain and communication difficulties.
Chronic conditions self-management key worker Sonia Makar
‘‘You’ll find that people with chronic illness have a lot of the same emotions and problems, although their conditions may be different,’’ Ms Makar said.
‘‘It’s really quite hard for people when they’re struck down by not just one illness, but multiple illnesses.
‘‘There’s so much going on you just don’t know where to start to improve your health and we’re here to try and make the messy head not so messy, we try and compartmentalise it.’’
Ms Buckman suffers from polycystic ovary syndrome, type two diabetes, arthritis in her neck, spine, both hips, hands and feet, and an enlarged heart caused by her excessive weight.
She is also a two-time survivor of breast cancer.
Since her involvement with Primary Care Connect began about two years ago, she has shed nearly 30
‘‘I didn’t realise how down I had become. I was existing, not living, there’s a difference. I’m working to get healthy, (but) if I didn’t have the support when I first started I would not have kept going,’’ Ms Buckman said.
‘‘(The program) builds a good support system for people. We encourage each other, we have fun (and) there’s so much laughter.
‘‘These guys make it work, what they do, it’s working, it’s making a difference in peoples lives.’’
Shepparton’s Declo Bisimwa firmly believes education is the key to a better life.
Beautiful weather greeted Tungamah residents for the 18th running of the Tungamah Lions Ten Thousand on Sunday.
When Keith and Marion Grumley and their growing family moved to Tatura on January 18, 1968, little did they know that it would be the start of a long and lasting connection to the town.
Garners Boxing Gym in Echuca is encouraging young people to get active with weekly boxing/cardio classes.
Rochester Rotary Club has celebrated its 50th birthday in style.
Sorting future of Campaspe pools
A theatre production with a difference is coming to Seymour.
Local athletes will go head-to-head with some of the best competitors from around the world in swimming and athletics in December.
District residents and visitors will be able to enjoy some of the region’s most beautiful private gardens on Sunday.
The 116th annual Cobram Show went off with a bang at the weekend, drawing in crowds from far and wide for two days of fun.
Tomorrow is a Total Fire Ban day in Deniliquin, meaning no fires can be lit in the open and all fire permits are suspended.
Fifty new full-time jobs will be created at Tatura with a multimillion-dollar expansion of the abattoirs expected to be announced today.
Remembering Australian political giant Gough Whitlam who once called on Benalla police to stop then Treasurer Frank Crean on his journey up the Hume to phone the PM.
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